Art and Commerce


This article articulates well my ambiguous creative ambitions. Part of me understands and can even embrace the sacrifices often required to pursue one’s art, but another, equally compelling part of me is tired of the starving-artist syndrome and wonders why one can’t pursue art and commerce at the same time. When you’re 21 and just entering this brave new world of careers and professions and workplaces and titles and Brooks Brothers suits, it can be so easy to just turn one’s back on all of that and just devote oneself wholly to one’s art, but when you’re in your 30’s or 40’s, that whole scene just gets old. I like having health insurance — in my colitis-addled case, it’s a necessity — and I love to travel. Travel informs my work, it’s one of the most inspiring things about my life. I know people — heck, I’m related to a few — who are content with once-yearly trips to San Francisco or Las Vegas, but my wanderlust demands more. And living on $30k a year kinda precludes all of that.

Still, like I said, I understand the allure. More power to these artists who can find happiness in a glimpse of blue sky between brownstone buildings. I envy their embrace of the simple, frugal life. Maybe one day I can be one of them. For now, though, I really like my daily cafe au lait and my yearly trips to Anywhere But Here In the US.